Inasal: What Does It Mean & Where Did It Come From?

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Inasal is a method of grilling meat that originated from the Visayan region of the Philippines. The word itself is a derivative of the word “inasal” which means to roast or to grill. Inasal is also a popular Filipino restaurant franchise serving grilled chicken.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about the history and meaning of the word “inasal”. But there’s more…

What is inasal

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What is Chicken Inasal?

Chicken Inasal is a popular barbecue dish from the Visayan islands, particularly the Negros and Iloilo areas. It’s marinated in a mixture of calamansi, pepper, vinegar and annato, and then grilled over hot coals. It’s usually served with rice and a dipping sauce of vinegar and soy sauce.

How to Make Chicken Inasal

Making Chicken Inasal is easy and delicious! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken
  • Calamansi
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Annato
  • Rice
  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce

First, marinate the chicken in the calamansi, pepper, vinegar and annato. Then, grill the chicken over hot coals, basting it with the marinade. Once it’s cooked through, serve it with rice and the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

The Perfect Side Dish

Chicken Inasal is great on its own, but it’s even better with a side dish. Try pairing it with atchara, a Filipino pickled papaya salad. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own version of the dipping sauce. Mix together some vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and a bit of sugar for a delicious and unique flavor.


Inasal Vs Bbq

When it comes to chicken, there are two distinct methods of preparation: Inasal and BBQ. Inasal is a type of grilled chicken dish that originated in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It involves marinating chicken slices in a special concoction of vinegar, ginger, and seasonings before grilling them and basting with a margarine and annatto oil mixture. BBQ, on the other hand, involves marinating boneless chicken breasts in a marinade of your choice before slicing them thinly and skewering them onto bamboo skewers. The basting sauce for BBQ is usually a simple mixture of margarine, annatto oil, and salt.

Both Inasal and BBQ are delicious, but they offer different experiences. Inasal is a classic Filipino dish that is full of flavor and has a unique taste. BBQ, on the other hand, is a more modern approach to chicken that is easy to make and is sure to please the whole family. So, if you’re looking for a delicious and unique way to enjoy chicken, try Inasal. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, BBQ is the way to go.

Inasal Vs Inihaw

Inasal and inihaw are two popular Filipino barbecue dishes. Inasal is a variant of the Filipino chicken dish known as lechon manok. It’s marinated in a mixture of calamansi, pepper, coconut vinegar and annatto, then grilled over hot coals while basted with the marinade. It’s served with rice, calamansi, soy sauce, chicken oil and vinegar. Inihaw, on the other hand, is a general term simply meaning “grilled” or “roasted” in Tagalog. It’s usually made from pork or chicken and served on bamboo skewers or in small cubes with a soy sauce and vinegar-based dip. It can also refer to any meat or seafood dish cooked and served in a similar way.

Inasal is a more complex dish than inihaw, as it involves marinating the chicken in a special mixture of ingredients. It’s also served with a variety of condiments, making it a more flavorful and complete meal. Inihaw, on the other hand, is a much simpler dish. It’s usually just grilled or roasted meat or seafood, often served with a simple soy sauce and vinegar-based dip. Inihaw is a great option for a quick and easy meal, while inasal is better for a more elaborate dinner.


Inasal is a delicious and unique dish from the Visayan islands, and it’s definitely worth a try! Whether you’re grilling it yourself or ordering it from a restaurant, you’re sure to love the flavor of this dish. Just remember to use your chopsticks and don’t forget the dipping sauce! And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at making it yourself? With a little practice, you’ll be a master of Inasal in no time! So, what are you waiting for? GRILL ON!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.